Next Best Thing

Next Best Thing is a new, limited-run commentary from KMUW. Every other Wednesday, KMUW's Jordan Kirtley will take a look at ways we can stay connected from a far via virtual events and outdoor activities.

Ways to Connect

First up this time is Carnival of the Animals, presented by Ballet Wichita. The free, family-friendly production is described as a “colorful journey through the animal kingdom.” It’s Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. at Naftzger Park, so firm up your plans now.

For the remainder of June, two big celebrations are underway: Pride Month and Juneteenth.

Courtesy Wichita Festivals

For parents wondering how to keep their kids occupied this summer, the Wichita Public Library has a few options:

Courtesy of the Orpheum Theatre

Wichita Art Museum has two events this weekend: First, a virtual Art Chatter featuring talks from a lineup of local creatives gets underway at 6:30 p.m. this Friday on Zoom. Registration is at There you’ll also find more information about Saturday’s Yoga in the Art Garden, an all-levels yoga class that starts at 9 a.m.

Fernando Salazar / Shocker Ad Lab


The Starlite Drive-In has been a great option for watching movies on the big screen this past year, and tomorrow is a special Art House at the Drive-In screening presented by and Wichita Jazz Festival.

Courtesy Downtown Wichita

Naftzger Park, downtown at the corner of Douglas and St. Francis, has three upcoming events.

Jordan Kirtley / KMUW

Spring began on March 20, but it’s finally feeling official as the outdoor events and activities we look forward to each year start back up.

This coming Saturday, April 3, is opening day for the Kansas Grown Farmers’ Market locations in West Wichita and Derby, and also the Old Town Farmers’ Market.

February is Black History Month, and there are several local opportunities to be entertained and informed this month and well beyond.

If, like me, you miss trivia night at your favorite local bar, get a cocktail to go instead and check out There you’ll find the virtual trivia nights that NPR hosts on a regular basis, with a rotating lineup of familiar NPR voices.

Wichita’s NEA Big Read kicks off this Saturday with a live celebration at 2:30 p.m. on KPTS Channel 8. Usually held in October, last year’s program was pushed back to January 9 through February 21 of this year. The selection is Circe by Madeline Miller — a novel that focuses on the lesser known Greek goddess.